Video Game Review: Star Wars Battlefront (2015)

Publisher: Electronic Arts

Starring: Based on characters created by Lucasfilm, LTD.

Platform: PS4, Xbox One (Also available on PC)

Genre: FPS 

Rating: T

My Rating: ****/5

In 2015, a remake of the video game “Star Wars Battlefront” was released. While the game may not reach the heights of previous installments or be the best video game tied into the “Star Wars” saga, it still proves to be a solid entry into the genre of competitive shooters, as well as a fun take on one of the most successful and beloved film sagas ever.

The game contains an assortment of maps and characters from the original “Star Wars” trilogy, as well as locations based on Jakku from “The Force Awakens” and Scarif from the spinoff film “Rogue One.” Renowned visual effects studio Industrial Light and Magic has also helped the technical wizardry of the films shine through in meticulous detail.

While the graphics and gameplay performance are relatively constant on both major console releases, there is a slight edge on the Xbox One version of the game’s performance. Depending on how stable one’s internet connection is, the Playstation 4 version of the game is prone to some occasional flickering shadows and graphical slowdown. Overall, though, the visuals show how far the series has come since the original “Star Wars Battlefront” in 2004.

The gameplay, while less complex than previous shooting games set in the “Star Wars” universe, is simple enough that anyone can pick up and play it. There is an assortment of unlockable weapons and character customization items for both the Empire and the Rebellion. There are also a handful of missions that can be played with “hero” characters from the saga such as Han Solo and Darth Vader.

That said, the game is not without its flaws. The tiers of downloadable content can be confusing for those who are unsure what version of the game to purchase. The lack of a universal story campaign is also disappointing, given how the 2005 version of “Star Wars Battlefront II” set the standard for the series with how it told the story of the fall of the Old Republic and the rise of the Empire in between the events of “Revenge of the Sith” and the original trilogy. Still, the game is enjoyable overall. The developer, DICE, manages to apply the lessons learned from their massively successful “Battlefield” series to another solid video game for the “Star Wars” franchise.

Even after all these years, the appeal of recreating the battle of Hoth hasn’t waned since it was done in “Shadows of the Empire” on Nintendo 64.

While not the best “Star Wars” video game or competitive shooter on the market, the 2015 “Star Wars Battlefront” still proves to be a satisfying first step towards re-imagining the series for a new generation. With the game having sold over 8 million copies as of this writing, let’s hope EA and DICE can expand on the successes of this game while also rectifying some of its shortcomings for the planned sequel later this year.

Review by Steven Pryor